Moms with Teens

cege
trouble in paradise
by cege
October 8, 2012 at 1:39 AM

My daughter has been away at college for six weeks now (she's a freshman).  She's 2,000 plus miles away and I miss her terribly.  The one thing that was making it better for me was knowing she was happy.  Well, today I talked to her and she was very stressed.  She's sharing a dorm room with three other girls.  They all have beds and their closets in one room and have a small attached room for their desks and a "kitchenette". They also share a bathroom.  From what my daughter is telling me, two of the girls are complete slobs and aren't cleaning anything or cleaning up after themselves.  She went home for the weekend with the roommate that she's closest to.  When they came back today, dirty dishes were stacked in the sink.  One bowl had black mold growing in it.  She said that she and her tidy roommate have asked for the others to clean their dishes right away but it's not happening.  So, she's cleaning up and trying to just let it go to avoid a confrontation.  I told her that I didn't think it was good to let it go because eventually the frustration she's feeling would build up. I suggested that she either write a note and nicely remind them to clean their dishes after they use them or talk to them again and let them know just how much the dirty dishes are stressing her out.  I hope this was good advice.  Any other suggestions?   I realize that working out these situations is part of growing up and learning to live with people but I wish she wasn't dealing with this right now.  She has to have a 3.5 to be in her program and already has enough to deal with at the moment.  She actually likes all her roommates despite the two being inconsiderate and messy so I hope they resolve this soon so she can concentrate on her studies.

Replies

  • atlmom2
    by atlmom2
    October 8, 2012 at 3:40 AM
    My dd was matched with roommates who were like her. You had forms to fill out how clean you were, what time you go to bed etc. Well dd also said she was shy. She got an anti social roommate who only talks to her boyfriend, but told the RA my dd "wasn't being her social director". They gotta work it out. Part of growing up. My dd is not stressed about it. She just can't be.
  • drfink
    by drfink
    October 8, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I would have her and the tidier roommate talk with the R.A..

    If it is severe maybe the two could get a couple of cheap pans and dishes.Use theirs ,keep them clean and put up and away.Just let the other two deal with their own filfth'.

    My daughter was 750 miles away ,I feel ya.She lived in a 2 bedroom apt dorm.Her first roommate was ok till she meets a guy brings him home the first night,,,in the living room.She and the other two leave for school with the girl and guy asleep.They start coming back to find she had left this guy in their apt all day alone.She hadn't known him 6 hours.They had been leaving their room doors unlocked.They talked to her ,she kept it up with different guys.Talked to the R.A, ,the girl got irritated hung out at a friends apt. the rest of the semester.The next semester a girl on the wait list moved in ...darling girl ...they are very close.

    Tell her hang in there.It seems like forever but she will settle in with some good ones eventually.Good luck.

  • MrsBLB
    by MrsBLB
    October 8, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    I haven't had any in college yet, but the advice given in both replies above is great. 

  • bizzeemom2717
    Jen
    October 8, 2012 at 1:54 PM

     My Ds called me about 6 weeks into school very upset. This really worried me bvecause he is my "calm, cool, collected kid". He didn't like his one dorm mate (there are 4 in same type suite situation), didn't like his honors math, didn't even like his college choice! I couldn't believe it and honestly got a little panicked at work....thankfully I have a coworker good friend who had been through the same thing with 2 older kids. She helped me feel better by saying her kids went through the same thing and it really was noraml growing pains. I kept reassuring my DS to jsut give it time. BY winter break all had clamed down. By spring break he sheepishly admitted he wasn't even sure why he got so upset. By this summer he admitted how HUGE of a step it was growing up and moving out on his own. Hugs and tell her to hang in there. PS..the roomate he couldn't stand is now his closest friend, but they don't live together this year lol.

  • cege
    by cege
    October 8, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Thanks so much for your replies, they're very helpful.  It's funny because I told my daughter not to put down that she was on the neat side when she was filling out her dorm room questionnaire because here she wasn't great about picking up her clothes off her floor.  She did write that she was neat anyway and I guess she is compared to the two roommates.  It's a very small space and they are literally on top of each other so I think my daughter realizes that if they were all messy it would be a disaster zone..  I know it will work out in the end but as bizzeemom2717 said it made me feel panicked at first to hear my daughter upset, especially because she's so far and can't come home to get a break from it all. 

  • annie2244
    October 8, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Does the dorm have an RA? An outside mediator who is trained to deal with this common stuff would be really helpful.

    Can she and the other neat roommate ask the other two for a meeting to talk over how things are going, and ideally present this as a weekly meeting at a set time that works for everyone that affords everyone the chance to talk about how things are going? At the meeting they should start with ground rules that they all think will help the meeting stay positive - one person talks at a time, everyone gets a chance to speak, solutions offered rather than criticism, stick to one issue at a time.

    At the meeting she could say - 'I'm uncomfortable with a bunch of dishes left in the sink or about the apartment. It doesn't feel fair that I should have to clean someone elses dirty dishes in order to find a clean one to use, and it doesn't feel fair that I have to live with someone's dirty dishes about hoping that eventually they will clean it up.  I know each person has different standards, and I'm not saying anyone's standards are better or worse than anyone else's. Since we all share the same space, I'm wondering if there could be a rule we could all agree to about dirty dishes. What would people think about a rule that dishes have to be put in the sink (not left about the apartment) and that dirty dishes have be cleaned up by the time you leave the apartment the next day, or by noon, whichever comes first?"

    Alternatively, she could just take the chief offender aside privately and say the same thing, handling it without a big meeting.

    4 people living in a small space? Yuck! Can she move to a 2 person unit eventually? I think that situation sounds awful - minimal chance for privacy with 3 others about,  have to get 4 people to figure out how to coexist vs just 2.

  • bizzeemom2717
    Jen
    October 8, 2012 at 5:05 PM

     

    Quoting cege:

    Thanks so much for your replies, they're very helpful.  It's funny because I told my daughter not to put down that she was on the neat side when she was filling out her dorm room questionnaire because here she wasn't great about picking up her clothes off her floor.  She did write that she was neat anyway and I guess she is compared to the two roommates.  It's a very small space and they are literally on top of each other so I think my daughter realizes that if they were all messy it would be a disaster zone..  I know it will work out in the end but as bizzeemom2717 said it made me feel panicked at first to hear my daughter upset, especially because she's so far and can't come home to get a break from it all. 

     It will truly be a GREAT learning lesson....she will figure this one out.

  • atlmom2
    by atlmom2
    October 8, 2012 at 5:12 PM


    Quoting cege:

    Thanks so much for your replies, they're very helpful.  It's funny because I told my daughter not to put down that she was on the neat side when she was filling out her dorm room questionnaire because here she wasn't great about picking up her clothes off her floor.  She did write that she was neat anyway and I guess she is compared to the two roommates.  It's a very small space and they are literally on top of each other so I think my daughter realizes that if they were all messy it would be a disaster zone..  I know it will work out in the end but as bizzeemom2717 said it made me feel panicked at first to hear my daughter upset, especially because she's so far and can't come home to get a break from it all. 

    On my dd's form you have to pick 1-10, one being a slob and 10 being OCD clean.  My dd put a 5, LOL!!!  Al the questions had 1-10 answers. 

  • cege
    by cege
    October 8, 2012 at 5:18 PM


    Quoting atlmom2:


    On my dd's form you have to pick 1-10, one being a slob and 10 being OCD clean.  My dd put a 5, LOL!!!  Al the questions had 1-10 answers. 

    My daughter had a similar form and she put herself at a 7 for neatness.  If I were filling it out I would have given her a 3 or 4.  There were times I couldn't see her floor because of all the clothes on it.  Apparantly she has a different standard when it comes to dirty dishes ; )   

  • PurpleHazey
    October 8, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Oh boy!

Moms with Teens